With more than $100,000 in cash and prizes available, the main draw date for Powell River Kings Dream Lottery is quickly approaching. The fifth annual edition of the lottery, and the 50/50 raffle that accompanies it, is the main fundraiser for Powell River Kings hockey club.
Dream Lottery tickets are available for $100 each, while 50/50 tickets, which must be purchased in conjunction with a lottery ticket, are $20 each.
“This is an incredible raffle that offers great prizes and great odds of winning,” says lottery organizer Joe Mastrodonato. “Only 2,499 tickets are printed for the Dream Lottery; 4,000 for the 50/50 draw.”
As prizes are drawn on January 7, 2017, each winning ticket is placed back inside the draw barrel until the grand prize is announced, “so you have multiple chances to win,” says Mastrodonato.
Early-bird winners are also re-entered into the main draw. Currently, the 50/50 total is more than $26,000; the winner receives half.
Mastrodonato says the lottery has been well supported over the past four years, but adds that ticket sales in 2016 have not been as strong.
“For whatever reason, this year ticket sales are much lower,” says Mastrodonato. “We are doing everything possible to promote the raffle and have many volunteers spending hundreds of hours at the ticket booth inside Town Centre Mall.”
In addition to the mall booth, which is open 10 am-4 pm daily, tickets are also available at Capone’s Cellar from 9 am-11 pm daily and at all Kings home games.
For added convenience, a buy-online raffle system, with real-time approval, is set up at prkingsdreamlottery.ca. A complete list of prizes is also available on the website.
“The online system issues draw numbers to the buyer and produces counterfoils for the draw barrel,” explains Mastrodonato. “The system has been approved by BC Gaming and is working very well; and it’s secure.”
Ticket buyers from cities and towns around the province have been using the online system.
“We appreciate their support,” says Mastrodonato. “To date, we have sold about 45 per cent of the tickets, from in and out of town.”
According to Mastrodonato, funds received from the lottery and 50/50 draw have had a tremendous impact on the team’s budget and provide one of its main revenue streams.
“It is very important that we sell all of the tickets as costs of operating the team keep rising,” explains Mastrodonato. “This year alone we’ve had a substantial increase in ordinary expenses and have already encountered extraordinary expenses, such as bus repairs, a new video camera and higher travel costs.”
Building up a rainy day fund is important, says Mastrodonato, as sooner or later the team will need a new bus.
“We don’t have people with deep pockets to pick any shortfalls of team expenses,” says Mastrodonato. “Ticket purchases make a big difference as the net proceeds have the potential to account for 30 per cent of the team’s budget.”
As a non-profit, community-owned organization, all lottery proceeds stay within Powell River and go a long way to keeping the team going year after year.
“We challenge everyone in Powell River to help support the Kings organization,” says Mastrodonato, adding that social and economic benefits of the team’s presence in the city have been well documented. “When you buy a Dream Lottery ticket, you can help yourself and the Kings.”
Including 50/50 winners, more than half a million dollars in cash and prizes have been given away since the lottery’s inception in 2012.
Meanwhile, Kings have made changes to their game-day ticket prices, enabling more families to attend home games. A mom and dad paying $30 to enter can have their kids admitted free of charge. Standard admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students and $5 for children 12 and under.
“The lottery funds help us keep prices affordable,” explains Mastrodonato. “We look forward to the support from the community.”
Powell River Kings Dream Lottery’s main draw takes place on Saturday, January 7, during the second intermission at a home game versus Coquitlam Express.